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UFC Judging Might Be Slightly Less Terrible at ‘Edgar vs. Maynard 3′

(It’s like they say, Leonard: You win some, you win some.)

Good news for fans of competent scoring — according to Marc Ratner, the UFC has formally submitted a request to the Nevada State Athletic Commission to provide monitors for the judges assigned to score the bouts at UFC 130: Edgar vs. Maynard 3 (May 28th, Las Vegas). Up until now, California has been the only state to ever provide monitors for judges while scoring MMA bouts. I love this part:

When MMA Fighting asked NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer if he would be open to the idea, Kizer replied, “Maybe.”

Great, Keith. As long as it doesn’t inconvenience you. The use of monitors in MMA judging is a common-sense addition that we’ve been whining about since Machida/Rua 1. It seems that the availability of multiple angles and close-ups would help judges evaluate action that they might otherwise miss from the fixed position and sight-line that their seat affords. However, not all judges agree that watching a fight on a screen is better than watching it play out in front of their eyes…

Gim Jenia at MMAConvert recently shadowed former UFC commentator Jeff Blatnick during a judging gig in New Jersey, where Blatnick discussed the subtle details that judges might miss by watching a fight on a screen. For example: “If a fighter winces from a landed punch, that means it scored. If I hear the whoosh of a foot dragging on a takedown, it’s a legitimate attempt at a takedown.”

Then again, he also had this to say: “People will score based on what they know. If a judge has a jiu-jitsu background, they’re going to say, ‘Did you see that close submission attempt? He was six inches from getting that kimura!’ No, but I did see those punches the other guy landed. Those scored.”

In other words, it doesn’t really matter how a judge watches a fight — if he doesn’t know what a kimura is, he’s probably still going to fuck up the result.

Cagepotato Comments

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CheechFace- April 27, 2011 at 11:26 am
I'm all for bringing monitors into the equation, that should fix the judging anomalies.
A couple of 5 foot lizards on the floor beside each judge ready to chomp off a few digits at the first sign of loss of fight focus, a stupid score card or Cecil Peoples in general.
ctownhood- April 27, 2011 at 6:44 am
Oooooooh...they mean monitors as in computer screens. I was hoping by monitors, they meant people watching over their shoulders who actually knew something about MMA. My bad.
Dagnut- April 27, 2011 at 5:13 am
@ Get Off the idea of the clock, but then it comes back to the competency of the refs....this IMO is where a lot of it is going wrong....Refs should be standing guys up if they are not actively working for a submission or striking..but then that is another grey area of complaint.
fatbellyfrank- April 26, 2011 at 11:24 pm
I'm also all for the text voting ala DWTS, you know, If you think ortiz won just text 111-getfuckedtito or sometin like that
fatbellyfrank- April 26, 2011 at 11:23 pm
No,No,No,No,No monitors will just make em fuck up worse, judges need to watch the fighters, know what their looking at eg Ju-jits, wrestling, striking, effective leg kicks etc and stop giving rounds to fighters who get busy in the last 30 seconds of a round. A referee's organisation would be a good start, you cant officiate until your accredited and you can only get accreditation for MMA by passing an international standard accreditation exam, that way there would be transparent standards for officiating at MMA events and there would be a standard each official has to maintain. Unfortunately I have no idea who would pay for this, but its food for thought.
PERPATRAITOR- April 26, 2011 at 8:45 pm
There could be an audience swing vote as a 4th Judge. The UFC could make tons more. Just like Dancing with the stars or American Idol, they could have text voting. I'm onto something Dana! Cha Ching!$!.chong
PERPATRAITOR- April 26, 2011 at 8:41 pm
Whatever happened to asking the crowd to scream loud for who won? I can just hear Buffer saying "let me heeaaarrr yooooouuuuu sccccrrreeeeaaaammmmmm!"
k-onda- April 26, 2011 at 6:06 pm
@getoffme, I agree completely - MMA will only achieve full legitimacy when it solves this problem. JiuJitsu can't score - if a dude pulls guard, aggressively and goes to work from there, even the announcers many times think the dude on top "got a take down" and is dictating the affair
edhedicus- April 26, 2011 at 5:24 pm
In an interview Cecil Peoples said that he was against the monitors, "If they put a monitor there, I may actually have to watch the fight." He then said, "I am in fact, fucking retarded."
True story....
Sad New Yorker- April 26, 2011 at 3:21 pm
If the judge has a "Cecil Peoples" background, he might be fucking retarded.
Get Off Me- April 26, 2011 at 2:59 pm
I have said it before, monitors are useless until there is some transparency in judging criteria. If judges do not recognize what full guard is and how it relates to MMA fighting, than we will continue to see fighters who use their guard in a fight get the shortfall on the cards.
The biggest problem MMA is facing is legitimacy, a step in the right direction would be clarifying judging criteria so as fans and fighters alike understand what is expected in order to win.
Right now, it looks like if you score one more takedown than your opponent, you win the fight 9 times out of ten. Striking and submissions attempts seem to be a formality if they do not end the fight. A question that needs to be answered is, if a fighter stays in his oppenents guard, lands some shots and escapes one or two submission attempts in the process, who is winning the fight?
Not saying the UFC should break out the cards like Pride had, but perhaps a clock(like 1 minute) from once a takedown is completed for a fighter to advance into half guard, side control etc.. This would give some clarity on who is winning the round at the very least, wrestlers could land up to 4 takedowns a round this way, clearly showing they are the better fighter, not just one takedown at the beginning or end of a round to win it.
RwilsonR- April 26, 2011 at 2:36 pm
I don't know that this does anything to solve the problem. Instead of getting three different angles to view the fight, now they will be using whatever the camera is seeing. And it is hard not to focus on the monitor in front of you. If they are going to insist on using the same judges and judging criteria, I would just rather see them add judges. Have five or six judges. Doesn't really solve anything, either, but gives a lower pecentage chance of an outlying judge fucking everything up.
Spicymeatball- April 26, 2011 at 1:48 pm
Fuck Kieth Kizer, maybe means no.
MKO- April 26, 2011 at 1:30 pm
Good. Still, judges should occasionally get praised for getting it right, a la Edgar-Maynard 2. Three different, perfectly reasonable scores and probably the most correct decision.
Douchey McDoucherton- April 26, 2011 at 12:59 pm
There can only be one solution to this...Fight to the Death! Make it happen Dana!